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Mako Mermaids (An H2O Adventure)
As of 26 Jul 13, Australian TV (allegedly) and Netflix (for certain) has begun the broadcast of the "sequel" to the H2O--Just Add Water series. (Netflix has the first 13 episodes available already, and the second set will come in September.)
The initial premise (visible on the preview trailer): Three real mermaids (not "just" transformed humans) accidentally allow a human boy to enter a mystical moon pool on the night of a full moon. Said boy gains powers and a merman's tail (the latter when he is wet); meanwhile, the mermaids are exiled from their home pod until such time as they can correct their mistake (by taking the moon pool effects back from the boy).
Complicating matters: The boy thinks he's become a kind-of superhero; the mermaids are somewhat unfamiliar with landdweller customs; and there is a mysterious trident that could be influencing events behind the scenes.
I've seen about 3/4ths of the series so far, so here are my initial impressions:
So far, it is about the same level of storytelling as the previous three seasons of H2O--Just Add Water. [I leave it to the reader to judge whether that's a good thing or not.]
Certain ideas are recycled from the previous series, but other ideas are introduced too. As before, the title characters get a tail when wet, legs when dry. However,
[Spoiler Ahead] real mermaids apparently have an additional ability that allows them to be (temporarily) invisible to humans. [Spoiler Ends]
Though I am not the target demographic (i.e., not a young-to-teen-aged girl), I suspect the casting directors did a reasonalby good job finding a "beefcake" young guy to play the boy/merman. [That can not be an easy role to cast, act or write: Someone who comes across as "manly" even when he has to run like a "coward" when water comes flying his way.]
The actress for one of the protagonist mermaids (Lyla) appears to be channeling the performance of the mermaid character Diana im the Australian mermaid movie Mermaids (2003). You may recall that Diana was the mermaid who most resented coming ashore in that movie; Lyla has similar feelings and agressive attitudes . . . though she may end up becoming the romantic leading lady!
[WARNING: Subsequent comments below are spoilerish.]
Speaking of "channeling" (of a sort), there is an older mermaid in the series who helps the protagonists adapt to the human world. It remains to be seen if she is a nod to Nikora (from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch) or Derceto (from Jake, The American Dragon). I'm inclined to think she's more the latter, since her job is to be a school principal.
As an older viewer, I actually appreciate her presence in the series. Teen mermaids are fine, and the previous series included some "grandmother-aged" former mers, but it's nice (for me) to see someone between those "extremes". So far, she provides a supportive role and bridges the two (human and mer) worlds.
As speculation: I will be curious to see if her role expands in the second half of the first season (or if, perhaps, is being "saved" for a second season).
After all, she might actually be a sea witch! (She does have a familiar. ;-) ) Hence, her supportive behavior may actually be a cover while she figures out how to gain possession of the trident herself!
She has also not elaborated on the circumstances of how her fiancee died. (That leaves room for story developments.)
Finally, the second episode alludes to merfolk being able to form octopus tenticles instead of legs. Again, this leaves room for story developments (i.e., "non-standard" transformations).